Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Peggy El-Mallakh

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Heather Risk

Committee Member

Dr. Patricia B. Howard

Committee Member

Dr. Otto Kaak


Infants and toddlers placed in foster care are at increased risk for social-emotional (SE) development dysregulation. Foster parents, as surrogate parents, play a critical role in a young child having the potential for healthy SE development. The transactional model supports the complex and intricate interplays and transactions of the child, the foster parent, and the environment that influences a healthy SE development. This qualitative descriptive study explored foster parent knowledge, behavioral cue recognitions, and role perception regarding a young child's SE development. Although the sample size was small, the study provides relevant information, from the on-going experiences of foster parents, for healthcare providers to assimilate into their practice concerning SE development of young children in foster care.